back to article I want my EPG, say Windows Media Center users left in dire straits

Users of Microsoft’s Media Center PCs report that their electronic program guides (EPGs) aren't downloading data, or are offering incorrect data, nobbling their ability to use their boxen as video recorders. In the Media Center feedback thread at Microsoft.com users report receiving no data, data for the wrong location, images …

  1. viscount

    UK EPG is broken for Windows Media Center

    In the USA there are reports of data quality issues. In the UK the EPG feeds have expired, so there are no updates at all.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

      Re: UK EPG is broken for Windows Media Center

      Are you sure the UK stream is compromised? I've just triggered a guide update that has an expiry date of 17 Sept.

      1. viscount

        Re: UK EPG is broken for Windows Media Center

        What O/S?

      2. viscount

        Re: UK EPG is broken for Windows Media Center

        It may depend on the O/S you have: Vista went dark on 31/8, W7 on 6/9. Maybe W8 is next.

        1. Geoff Campbell

          Re: UK EPG is broken for Windows Media Center

          W8.1 failed about a week or so ago for me. It falls back to getting the EPG from the OTA data, which makes it a bit hard to spot exactly, but the HD channels have had a blank EPG here for about 2-3 days, so I'm guessing the web-based EPG went off the air about the 1st-2nd September.

          I do wish they'd stop dicking around with it.

          GJC

          1. Bob H

            Re: UK EPG is broken for Windows Media Center

            The EPG for the broadcast HD channels is compressed with an algorithm that requires a Freeview HD licence so that would explain why there is no HD EPG when Rovi data is unavailable.

      3. Silver

        Re: UK EPG is broken for Windows Media Center

        Are you sure the UK stream is compromised? I've just triggered a guide update that has an expiry date of 17 Sept.

        If you have 7 days then that's the standard over-the-air EPG data from Freeview. If you are getting the proper feed then you should have a fortnight's worth of data - plus a lot more metadata.

        (I'm getting only the OTA EPG data too)

  2. Fuzz

    The end?

    Is this a premature end of media centre? It's probably going to be the final nail in the coffin for me the only thing really keeping me using media centre was the TV guide.

    I've started investigating alternatives, for Freeview, it's not too bad since you can get the EPG over the air. For Freeview HD channels you have to use the EPG data from the equivalent SD channel.

  3. WaveyDavey

    There will be trouble

    if my 16yo daughter misses bake-off. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I predict.

  4. Garry Perez

    Media Portal- Way to Go

    Used Media Centre for ages, it was once of MS best products. However over the years it has got slow (esp clicking through the guide) and just generally flaky. A couple of months ago I switched to Media Portal, and boy what a difference. Can really recommend it.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Media Portal- Way to Go

      Yes even Media Portal is better then that crap that MicroSoft has since recently packed in. But, only just! Its still Billions of light years from Linux VDR in my honest opinion. But, I guess it depends upon your application(s). My primary application of course was, and more or less continues to be for live TV, and I find a simple SAT2IPTV converter + an Android / Google TV Box is more then enough to get the job done.

  5. Michael Habel Silver badge

    WMC is about as useful as a dog poo teapot. First it has like ZERO SUPPORT for any European TV Standardards *cough* DVB-C (Cable TV). Add to this the very obscure, and costly adaptors needed to get it working. Plus the fact that you can NOT just pull the aforementioned EPGs straight from the source. Makes Windows Media Center the laughing Stock compared to Linux alternatives such as MythTV, or Video Disc Recorder (i.e. VDR). Of course the one thing all these formats share is a very high running costs. When a small Android / Google TV Box with Kodi installed can pretty much do the same. Or if needs be a full on OpenELEC install with TVHeadend.

  6. ici.chacal

    I wonder if this is an attack on another front to herd people into Windows 10... Is Windows 10's media center still okay..?

    1. Irongut

      Win10 has no Media Centre. Hence why one of my PCs will never be upgraded.

      1. HighTech4US

        Windows Media Center hack now available to run on Windows 10!

        http://www.windowscentral.com/install-media-center-windows-10

        1. K.o.R
          Thumb Up

          This is probably one of the best pieces of news I've gotten.

    2. mm0zct

      Re:

      Windows 10 doesn't have a media centre at all, and if you happened to use it on 7 or 8 and upgraded to 10 it will be removed. My HTPC is staying with 8.1 indefinitely as a result.

  7. Drudgery Leak

    Here today - gone tomorrow.

    The Redmond Monster eats its own.

  8. NormDP

    BeyondTV was the best of these DVRs for simplicity and ease of use. Unfortunately, it has been long discontinued by the developer. Have tried Media Portal but find the set up to be a headache and the operation not as user-friendly as BTV. MCE is a bit in-between. Easier to set up but not very user-friendly. I am looking forward to the upcoming release of Homerun DVR, and hoping it will be the best on all fronts. Unfortunately, it will be subscription based.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No EPG Data for US Fix

    Here are two text files detailing how to fix the "No Data" program guide problem.

    You need to do the "WMC (Windows Media Center) EPG (Electronic Program Guide) showing No Data Available" fix first.

    Then the "Reset PlayReady".

    -------------------------

    Is WMC’s(Windows Media Center) EPG(Electronic Progam Guide) showing No Data Available?

    Are you using OTA (Over-The-Air) service?

    The problem is that WMC does not know where to find the data for the EPG. Around July 26, 2015 Windows change data providers from Zap2It to Rovi. Microsoft and Rovi were ill prepared for this changeover. To do the changeover WMC needs to change from the Zap2It to Rovi for its’ Guide. WMC should change data sources by running WMC Setup. Setup fails to change data sources for three reasons.

    1) Setup cannot complete this task until it recognizes Rovi as the guide.

    2) Rovi needs a valid zipcode, and this is important, that Rovi is providing data for

    3) WMC needs to know where to get Rovi data

    Let’s solve issue 2 first. Rovi’s zipcode data base has massive holes. To find a zipcode that will work for you. Go to MSN Website populated by Rovi data and find a working provider.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/tv-listings

    In the search menu keep entering cities till the drop down menu produces a provider that will work for you. Most cities will not provide an OTA option. Since Setup will not accept cities you still need to find a zipcode within that city that will work. (I live in Atlanta and had to use a zipcode from 30 miles away 30601.) Enter that zipcode make certain that the website populates with data that is useful to you. Write it down, this will be zipcode that Setup needs.

    Example: For (Dallas/Fort Worth) use ZipCode 75227

    Now let’s deal with issue 3. Helping WMC find the Rovi data source on the web.

    close WMC

    click start button

    type CMD in search box

    right click CMD and run as administrator

    Type "cd c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc"

    Type "notepad hosts"

    Add the following 2 lines

    65.55.186.113 data.tvdownload.microsoft.com

    72.246.56.59 cdn.epg.tvdownload.microsoft.com

    (if there are other lines in your file that are for data.tvdownload.microsoft.com or cdn.epg.tvdownload.microsoft.com comment them out by placing a # at the beginning of the line)

    save the file and exit notepad

    in your cmd window

    Type "ipconfig /flushdns"

    click start button

    in search box type taskschd.msc

    after task scheduler opens

    In the left tree expand Task Scheduler Library, Microsoft, Windows

    click on Media Center folder to highlight it

    In the upper window of the center section scroll through the activities under the Name column.

    right-click ObjectStoreRecoveryTask, and click Run

    Let this run for about three minutes

    Reboot PC and re-open WMC. You will receive a warning that WMC corrected a problem and will download the Guide EPG data again

    Tasks > Settings > General > TV > TV Signal > Set Up TV Signal

    Remember to use the zipcode from the MSN Rovi website!

    What is this is doing: 1) hard coding the lookup for data.tvdownload.microsoft.com and cdn.epg.tvdownload.microsoft.com. As soon as you put entries like this in your hosts file the DNS that you are using no longer matters. This eliminates the need to change your DNS to google or open DNS. 2) ipconfig /flushdns removes any caches entries for the items listed in your hosts file. 3) the task scheduler run removes your epg guide while you have a valid zip code. This forces WMC to completely re download the epg from the ip address listed in your hosts file.

    -------------------------

    #2 "Reset PlayReady

    If you need to reset PlayReady, you can do the below to speed up the process (no uninstall of the PlayReady software). This just resets the data to the default state (read: empty).

    1. Close Media Center

    2. Open CMD prompt as Admin (click on the start manu, type cmd, right click on the exe and select "Start as admin"

    3. Type "net stop ehrecvr"

    4. Type "cd %programdata%\Microsoft\PlayReady"

    5. Type "del *.hds"

    6. Type "rmdir /s Cache"

    7. Type "cd %programdata%\Microsoft\ehome"

    8. Type "del *.hds"

    9. Type "rmdir /s Cache"

    10. Type "net start ehrecvr"

    11. Launch Media Center

    12. Go to Tasks->Settings->TV->TV Signal->Update PlayReady

  10. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    I had a Windows Media Center PC, but it was too unreliable.

    I dumped it for a Humax HDR-FOX T2. So much simpler and more reliable. Cheaper too.

  11. nedge2k

    Re: Your phone works on electricity

    For anyone this is affecting, dump WMC and move to Kodi (formerly XBMC) using the MediaPortal TV Server. Shit's only gonna get worse. I loved WMC but Kodi is way better overall - although the series recording isn't great by default.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...all the alternatives have their fans. In the face of Win 10's lack of support, I tried 3 or 4 of them.

    They all stink... IMHO of course. MCE is easy to set up, simple enough that my parents can use it, and almost totally bulletproof. I mostly only want to have a PVR and the 10-foot interface and official remote make this really easy. I could cope with any of the other options if they didn't look so amateurish and didn't have feature overspill. But of course they do.

    I do understand that viewers of encrypted channels or European (even US) users find it harder to make work - but for those of us with Freeview (& HD) and Freesat tuners in the UK, it's like it was a system designed by Microsoft just for us in Blighty. And the daft buggers are slowly killing it off.

    For 10 years it's been a wonderful, capable, reliable product - how many other MS apps can claim that?

    (Yes, I'm a fan.)

  13. RAMChYLD

    Rovi

    Is the new name for the company we all love to hate- Macrovision.

    I can imagine that they nobbled the information on purpose. After all, they don't want you recording stuff so the MPAA can force you to download what you missed for a fee on Netflix.

  14. jostht

    Here in holland, the EPG is also down, no new data, the EPG is expiered. I reported this in microsoft connect, like many others, but no reaction from microsoft !!

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